“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”1 Corinthians 9:24

Chasing the next big thing is like running a race in which the finish line does not exist. Recently, my husband Marc and I flew to Austin, Texas to explore the city. We wanted to catch the vibe. To chase the possibility of relocating. We walked Downtown Austin on 6th Street and were met with t-shirts and signs that said “Keep Austin Weird.” There were also loads of hipsters and hippies. We ventured over to Zilker Park and walked under the bridge. We saw lots of joggers, runners, and people walking their dogs. Then we ate at Chuy’s, a food landmark of Austin.

Then, in the middle of the night, Marc woke up violently. That Chuy’s burrito did not agree with him. He got the flu. That cut our two-day trip in half. We never got the opportunity to explore Round Rock, a suburb of Austin. Thank goodness for friends who let us stay in their home so Marc was at least more comfortable.

While Marc was resting, I started reading Satisfied by Pastor Jeff Manion. I recently read his first book, The Land Between, and wrote about it on Day #2. I was deeply impacted by the message in his first book about feeling stuck in the land between. When I saw his second book was about satisfaction and contentment — I knew I had to read it.

I had just come through a season of rest. Feeling stuck. Waiting on God. So on the couch downstairs in Round Rock, Texas — I began to read. Lord, what is your will? Here we are walking on water. We’re venturing into the unknown. Taking time to explore a new city. Why does my heart feel so restless?

Jeff writes, “Contentment is the cultivation of a satisfied heart.” This simple yet profound statement helped to open my spiritual eyes. God had already began changing me. This season of rest where I felt restless was beginning to feel more peaceful. At home. I loved that God took me all the way to Texas to show me that I had changed even though my circumstances had not.

It wasn’t until I got home that I found out my book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me was selling well. I wasn’t a big fat failure. My dreams hadn’t died. And that lack of a church community? Marc and I just started a young married growth group through North Coast Church. For the first time in our marriage, we finally found a group where we’re not the only couple without kids!

I think the reason why God allowed such a long season of rest is to show me that I was continually chasing the next big thing. I was trying to fill the void with a new book or a new child or running or losing weight or church community. Even if some, all, or none of these things changed—God wanted to change me first. To leave me with His peace, contentment, and a satisfied heart.

Manion writes, “Is there a finish line out there? Not if our quest is for “more.” If our goal is more, then whatever we have is never enough. It is like running a race where a finish line doesn’t exist.”

Whether content or cankerous, I’m thankful God is a gentleman and waits for us to decide. He won’t take us kicking and screaming. I’m thankful for the opportunity to explore a new town, even if we felt it wasn’t for us.

Dear Dream Giver Jesus, Please help me to stop chasing the next big thing. Or maybe it’s my motives that need to be checked. Either way, thanks for show me the path You’ve picked out for me to walk. Give me the courage to obey. Amen.

Are you chasing the next big thing? Why or why not?

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